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Monday 15 January 13:53

Explore, exchange, collaborate

News: Apr 08, 2022

Pictures from the studentevent

”Just name a country and we can connect you with someone” said Omar Zabian at Global Sustainable Futures’ and GMV:s Student Sustainability Hub’s student event on 30 March. Around thirty students with an interest to connect with the Global South, from both Chalmers and the University of Gothenburg, attended the event. The evening consisted of inspiring presentations and discussions. Olof Drakenberg presented GSFs mandate and activities and representatives from both universities showcased how they can support student exchange. The event ended with some “fika” where the attendees got the opportunity to mingle and ask questions.

The main idea of the event was to inspire students and show that the universities offer multiple ways for students interested in low- and middle-income countries. One such opportunity is to spend some time in a low-income country during their studies. Two of the speakers during the evening, Elin Astrid Gustafsson and Ofelia Carlsson were both accepted by Sida for Minor Field Studies, MFS, which has allowed them to stay abroad for two months, Elin in Brazil and Ofelia in Tanzania.

Elin presented that the reason for her MFS was to study how cultural settings influence singing education. She went to Brazil where the actual singing seemingly is more important to the experience of the music. Hence the way singers are taught to sing differs quite a lot from the Swedish music school.

Ofelia, who took part on a zoom link from Arusha, Tanzania, as she is currently on her MFS, is looking at the accessibility to electricity in rural areas. A large proportion of people in the countries south of Sahara lack access and thus also to amenities we take for granted, like cool storage or refrigerators. This in turn causes large losses of harvests, both cereals and fish.

Pictures from the studentevent

Reflecting on the innovation process

Sam Unsworth, a PhD researcher at Chalmers, originally from the UK but now sharing his time “between Sweden and Rwanda”, works as an advisor to the Grid Innovation and Incubation Hub at University of Rwanda.
“I am really interested in global processes of innovation, even when they relate specifically to Rwanda’s energy transition”, he says. Sam keeps a diary of the process he is engaged in and reflects on his own position as a researcher. He sees that there is a risk that the PhD process reproduces problematic and even colonialist modes of knowledge production. His present research is about the innovation processes around Rwanda’s ambitious 2024 goals concerning universal electricity access and significantly decrease the use of traditional cooking stoves and thus also the level of local air pollution.

Promoting the international experience

Increasing global cooperation is a strategic priority for Chalmers University of Technology and the University of Gothenburg. The universities therefore provide courses, services, and some specific opportunities as well. GSF presented a list of examples of courses at the two universities that had strong global components related to health, environmental policy instruments, botany, and engineering. Students were recommended to contact their study counselors as course descriptions don’t always do justice to the content.

The NFGP Network for Future Global Professionals brings together the Swedish Institute scholarship holders and have a local chapter for students in Gothenburg. Omar Zabian presented the Network and welcomed other students in Gothenburg to join their activities and to network. They all have a professional background and might have just the kind of contacts you need in their countries of origin. You can reach them through their Facebook group.

Magdalena Eriksson, platform leader at Global Sustainable Futures thanked all the presenters and invited all to stay in touch and to stay around for “fika” and networking.

Get in contact/touch?

At The University of Gothenburg, there is the International Centre where the staff can assist in finding opportunities abroad. Read more about Minor Field Studies – Student Portal (gu.se)

And for students at Chalmers, there are also attractive opportunities, including MFS and the Global Mentorship Program. The program, which is funded through a donation to Chalmers, has a focus on innovation, entrepreneurship and internationalisation in low- and middle-income countries in Asia, Africa and South America. The aim is to create an opportunity for students to get experience and to work with internationally interesting sustainable solutions for global challenges within the framework of the thesis. A grant of maximum 50 000 SEK is connected to participation in the program.

At Global Sustainable Futures we are also happy to help and assist you. If you have any questions regarding international exchange and cooperation with low- and middle-income countries, please feel free to contact us on info@globalsustainablefutures.org or look at contacts to connect with one of us directly.

BY: Jan Riise

Page Manager: Webbredaktionen|Last update: 3/3/2023

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